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The Mystery of Why Free Agent Christian Wood is Still Unsigned in 2023 and Why Lakers Should Sign Him

The NBA free agency period has been a frenzy of activity, with many big names changing teams and some surprising deals being made. However, one of the most intriguing players on the market remains unsigned: Christian Wood.

Playing for the Dallas Mavericks last season, Wood is a skilled big man who can do it all on the offensive end. He can score inside and outside, run the pick and roll, and stretch the floor with his three-point shooting.

He also has shown an uncanny ability to block shots, and protect the rim on defense. He gets knocked by critics for his slow lateral movement on the defensive end.

Last season, as a second then third option behind Luka Doncic, and later Kyrie Irving, Wood averaged 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.4 threes per game, while shooting 51.5 percent from the field and 38 percent from beyond the arc. In some ways, Wood plays like a slower version of Anthony Davis, with a better three-point jump shot.

Did you know that Christian Wood was the first Mavericks player ever to score at least 25 points in their first two games with the team?

Christian Wood Holds Record as First Maverick Ever to Score 25 Points in Each of First Two Games with Team

Why is Christian Wood Still Unsigned in 2023?

So why is Wood still a free agent? Well, there are some question marks about his durability, his consistency and his fit in certain systems. Wood has missed significant time due to injuries in his career, and he has bounced around six different teams in six seasons.

He also has a reputation of being a bit of a stat-chaser, who doesn’t always make winning plays or sacrifice for the team. All this doesn’t help when people also unfairly view you as a really bad defender, because this era of basketball really doesn’t like big men who can’t defend.

That’s where things get strange though. Last season the eye test showed that Christian Wood was a decent inside presence on defense, coming up with many clutch blocks when he was given minutes as a starter.

Rob Pelinka’s Comment Fueled Christian Wood to Lakers Rumors

There is one team that could be a perfect fit for Wood: the Los Angeles Lakers. As general manager Rob Pelinka said in a recent interview:

“We are actively in the market to add another big. I think dimensionalizing the skills at that position would be important. So we don’t want to sign someone who replicates the skills that Jaxson Hayes has. So if we can diversify the big position and have different looks, that would be good”.

https://youtu.be/Ml_fG5cWtxk?t=48

Christian Wood is exactly what Pelinka described: a versatile big man who can do things that Hayes can’t. Wood can space the floor for James and Davis, who both like to operate in the paint. He can also run pick and rolls with any of them, and finish with authority or pop out for a jumper.

He can also provide some rim protection and rebounding on defense. He’s also not an old player, which has been Lakers Achilles heal in the past. Lakers saw first hand what he can do on the basketball court when given consistent playing time.

How Christian Wood Would Benefit from Playing with Lebron and Anthony Davis

Wood would theoretically benefit from playing with the Lakers’ stars, who would take away some of the defensive attention and pressure from him. He would also learn from playing with James and Davis, two of the best leaders and winners in the league. He’s already used to playing with a ball dominant player who plays a similar style to Lebron in Luka Doncic.

There have been some rumors that the Lakers are interested in signing Wood after the Rob Pelinka interview, but they face some challenges. The Lakers’ offer would most likely be far below his market value. Wood may have other suitors who can offer him more money, or a bigger role. He’s nowhere close to the ring chasing phase of his career yet, or is he?

Wood is one of the most talented big men in the league, but he is still looking for a home. The Lakers are one of the most successful franchises in the league, but they are still looking for another piece.

If they can find a way to make it work, they could be a match made in heaven. He definitely would have changed that Denver series from an offensive standpoint. All those threes Anthony Davis was bricking could have been threes he was taking and making.

He remains one of the most mysteriously unsigned NBA free agents available in 2023, but it seems like that could change soon.

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